After enduring drifting conditions for the last three weeks on the river the wind eventually piped up to a steady 10 knots with gusts to 14 knots.
Seventeen dinghies lined up at the start making for a rather crowed starting line as everyone fought for prime position on starboard on the west bank.
The current was flowing out at three knots making it even more important to break away at the start and get clear wind.
James Burnside in his Laser obtained prime position and shot out from the fleet as the gun went. He was followed closely by the RS 400 of Lucy and Anthony Glindenning. This is a first appearance on the CYC racetrack for their new boat. The RS 400 is a modern design with asymmetric spinnaker and its rate of acceleration from a standing start is amazing to watch.
At the start the OCS (on course side) flag went up and the Laser of Ivor Paul was the only boat over. He failed to return to the starting line and therefore was disqualified.
Alan McCann in his Laser was next followed by Jimmy Dempsey the veteran of Coleraine sailing, Bruce McFarlane and Russell Yates also in Lasers. It was apparent that apart from the RS, Laser would dominate the racing.
The Juniors in Laser 4.7s, Toppers and Fevas were having a tough time in the strong current but Johnny Campbell led them followed by Leon Goven, both in Laser 4.7s.
James Burnside was first at the windward mark closely followed by The RS 400 and these boats were well ahead of the rest of the fleet. In the prevailing conditions the leeward mark was gained in record time. The rest of the Laser fleet struggled up the west bank with The Laser of Alan McCann rounding first of these followed by Bruce McFarlane Jimmy Dempsey and Russell Yates. The Laser of James Campbell who had a horrific start was well behind.
The RS of the Glindenning’s overtook Burnside’s Laser on the next beat and although Burnside was to catch up he was unable to get the better of the faster boat. These two were however in a league of their own.
The bunch of Lasers directly behind were having a real battle which was to the advantage of the leading boats and even this bunch developed into two factions with McFarlane and Dempsey breaking away and leaving McCann and Yates in their own . James Campbell had by now sailed his way into the Laser fleet and eventually passed both Alan and Russell although the lead in this group swopped several times.
On the sixth lap Lucy and Anthony Glindenning in the RS and James Burnside in the Laser lapped all but Bruce McFarlane and Jimmy Dempsey and at the finish gun this was the order on the water.
However in handicap sailing sometimes there is a bit of a lottery. The Lasers of James Campbell Alan McCann and Russell Yates did not have to complete the last lap and had their time adjusted accordingly. The wind died and the leading Lasers had a very slow last lap.
When the time was adjusted for the number of laps and the handicap applied the third place was the Laser of James Campbell followed y Alan McCann in fourth and Russell Yates in fifth, leaving Jimmy Dempsey sixth and Bruce McFarlane seventh.
The first Junior home was Johnny Campbell.
Stunned silence greeted the announcement of the results with a few justifiable glum faces in the bar. However that is the luck of the game when sometimes the better performers have a turn of bad luck.
About eight of CYC regular sailors were away. The fleet has now grown to over 25 boats indicating that CYC dinghy sailing is once more gaining prominence in the local sporting community.
1st James Burnside Laser
2nd Lucy and Anthony Glindenning RS 400
3rd James Campbell Laser
1st Johnny Campbell Laser